Saturday, August 04, 2012


Shoulda won; still lost.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Killing Time

Every team's fans (and media) think their team specifically has trouble against pitchers they've never seen before. (At least Red Sox, Yankees, and Mets fans anyway.) After last night's loss I knew we'd hear that same old story. Sure enough, Gordon Edes asked V about it. So this is just a quick note to say that for the Red Sox, it's not true. Here's Allan Wood's research about it (which covers 1995-2008, so granted it's not completely up to date).

It just goes along with people seeing something that seems odd more than once (or recently) and thinking of it as happening "all the time." I swear a Red Sox pitcher could go all season without giving up a home run, then he gives up one big one and the next time he pitches, people will say "Here comes Mr. Home Runny Pants, lock up your wives and daughters everybody!" Or a guy has two bad early outings out of the pen, and 25 great outings later, fans see the guy and say "uh oh...."

Happens in real life too. I kill two lousy people in a fight over a parking spot, and suddenly, despite the millions of people I've let live, I'm a murderer. Okay, bad example. My point is, Deduno is not a murderer.

Twins @ SOX, 7:10.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Deduno He Could Ice Sculpt?

The Twins staff had given up, like, a THOUSAND* home runs this year, but we couldn't muster up more than 2 hits against them. We're Chicagoed by Minne-haha, 5-0.

*According to NESN. They listed the number as "1,004" on a graphic at the beginning of the game. It was up for a really, really long time, too.

Sox Win Series. Hey, It's True.

Aaron "crewhawk" Cook can be great. And crappy. Usually within the same start. It was 1-1 in the 5th, when he gave up a bunch of hits and then two dongs in a row. Suddenly it was 6-1. We had a nice comeback to make it 6-4, but after Crawford's dong to start the 7th pulled us to within 6-5, our last 9 batters went down in order. 7-5 Detroit, final.

But we can still say we've won our last two series, against the Yanks and Tigers. Now the 44-60 Twins come in for 4. Too bad the O's couldn't sweep the Yanks today....

Was nice to see somebody in the front row behind the Sox dugout tonight with a little hand-written "We Believe" sign. The players need to know that the real fans don't think they're a bunch of 0-162 Hitlers.

Awesome catch by Ellsbury tonight.

Crazy bounce on that Fielder dong--right off the top of the wall in dead center and straight up in the air, coming down a few rows into the bleachers.

Nice exchange by Don and Jerry tonight:

Don: "Santiago this year 1 for 1 in stolen base attempts, 28 in his career."

Jerry: "Santiago one steal so far on the season..."

Yes, both lines were spoken consecutively--and Jerry went on to botch his version of the stat before correcting himself, extending the agony. It's always hilarious when one announcer says what the other one just said. Because the first guy has a brief window to come right out and say "I just said that" and try to bring humor in to dissolve the weirdness--but once that window closes, they've got a big, fat, juicy awkward silence hanging out there between them.

And could you believe neither Don nor Jerry noticed that ball hitting Fielder in the head? Ball is thrown, clicky sound is heard, helmet falls off, guy grabs head... and Don says he's hit in the back, before Jerry chimes in with "may have got him in the rib area"! What the hell are these guys watching?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Bud Selig: Mayor Of Shark City

Remember in Jaws when the chief had finally had enough of the shark attacks and basically forced the mayor to sign the contract that would allow Quint to kill the shark? I feel like we're at that point with instant replay in the Majors. The home run replay thing was the 24-hour beach closure. But it isn't enough. It's 2012. This shark must be stopped. We have the ability to tell what happened on every play by using technology that's been around for almost two hundred years. But we don't use it! The idea of a "photo finish" in various typed of racing sports has been around since cameras were invented. By 1882, people were saying races would soon be decided by the camera. And for decades now in those sports, cameras have been used to determine--when the human eye can't--who won. And nobody's complaining. (The 1912 Olympics used a camera. Hialeah race track had photo finishes in 1936.)

When cameras came into use in racing, the debate started in baseball circles, too. Here's an AP story I found from 1935:

Three-quarters of a century later, the stubborn are still not backing down. Dinosaur Joe Torre said in a NYT story last month:

The game isn’t perfect. For all of us that want everything to be right all the time, it’s not going to the case no matter how much replay we do. I don’t know why we want everything to be perfect, because it’s just not a perfect game, it really isn’t. Life isn’t perfect. I think this is a game of life.

When Joe Torre's brother needed a new heart, did Joe say, "Hey, life isn't perfect. If your heart doesn't work, there's nothing we can do for you."? Of course not. Frank got a heart transplant, and 16 years later, he's still around (with help from his daughter, who also refused to let life's imperfections get in the way of making it a better place, donating a kidney to her father).

While it's nice to hear a former employee of George Steinbrenner admitting that you can't have everything in life, I'd still prefer we do everything in our power to get the calls right. Let's leave the "human element" to the players, and the life reflections to the poets, Joe.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sox Win Yankee-Style

[Added to post: video of Remy and Don answering fan questions, hilarity ensues.]

A very, very slow bouncer past the pitcher to the second baseman scores two runs after the go-ahead run is walked in, and rain ends the game in the 6th when the other team has the tying runs on base. Red Sox beat Verlander, 4-1.

Beckett was pitching well until Ciriaco took too much time on a routine grounder that should have had him out of the third. He then hit a guy and walked two before coming out with a back spasm. Fortunately Mortensen got the last out keeping the score at 1-0. This was after we left 4 runners on over the first two against Verlander. So each team had a chance to put it away early but it stayed close. In the 4th, Ciriaco tied it on a single before the bases-loaded walk and Crawford's weird bouncer that nobody could pick up. And any chance the Tigers had to come back was washed away....

The Yanks took a 5-0 lead in the first against Baltimore. So it looked like there'd be at least a delay in their slumping ways...until the Orioles scored the next ELEVEN runs! Yanks get their asses kicked 11-5. So now Balty is 5.5 out of first and we're 7.5. The Yanks' world is crumbling around them!

I was gonna do a whole bit about how if WE were in first and had been recently up 11.5 over the Yanks, only to lose 2 of 3 to them at home and then lose our next two including blowing a 5-0 lead, there'd be so much "mirror," "ledge," and "panic" talk, people would just flat out give up. And I was gonna make fun of NESN for not talking like that about the Yanks. But to his credit, TC actually acknowledged the Yanks' slump, and talked about how the division is no longer a runaway.

We go for the sweep tomorrow night.

During the rain delay, I got to see AJ Burnett throwing a no-hitter in the 8th. He lost it with 2 outs. How sweet would that have been, for Yankee fans to have to see a no-no from AJ? They still have to be pretty pissed about his non-shittiness. Oh well, they're still pissed over tonight's debacle AND our rain-shortened win--their trademark.

Funny moment in the game tonight. Ellsbury was on second, and as Verlander threw the pitch, you heard the crowd starting to ooh and ahh, followed by a full-on cheer. I thought, "Ellsbury just stole third, didn't he?" Then they cut to a shot of him ON third, and only then does Don mention it. Crowd reaction beat the producers and the announcers. Classic NESN.

Remember when I mentioned Papi's son had a locker next to his? Well they just showed Josh Beckett in front of his locker, and next to his was the locker of: "Ryann Rose Beckett."

Oh and Remy and Don got to do another "Ask Jerry" extended segment during the delay. Funny stuff. I may put that on YouTube and add it to this post. [Update: Scroll back up, it's right there.]

Caron: The Red Sox Would Be 6-6.5 Back Under Last Year's Rules

Maybe he really is a moron! And Cafardo agrees with his completely false statement, but we already knew he was a moron. Here's the video, with annotations. If you can't see video, I'll explain below.

The quotes:

Cafardo: "What would the Red Sox have done [under last year's rules with only one wild card]?"

Caron: "It would be totally differnt. 'Cause you would be....6, 6 and a half games out, and that many teams in front of you, I think they would have taken it apart."

Where is this "math" coming from?
The Red Sox are 4 games out. Under last year's rules, they'd be exactly 4.5 games out, not 6.5. He seems to be "estimating" where they'd be without this godsend second wild card, instead of just looking at the standings! I don't even think he understands how this works! I thought to myself, "what else could he possibly mean?" and I came up with two options: 1. That the Red Sox' current record would be 6-6.5 games worse than last year's wild card leader on July 31st. Nope, they'd be 10.5 back. 2. That the Red Sox' current record would be 6-6.5 games worse than the team in second in last year's wild card standings on July 31st. Nope, they'd be 4 back. So in Tom's mind, the second wild card right now is sitting 2 to 2.5 games (best guess) behind the first. Even though the standings show they're only .5 games behind--you don't need to guess.

A few seconds earlier, TC said this:

"At this point last year, at least half of those [.500] teams would have been selling off and looking at next year."

Again, as I say every day around here: All the teams that are hovering around .500 in the A.L. (and all the teams that aren't, too) are exactly one-half game further out of a playoff spot as they would have been under last year's rules. In the N.L., they'd all be in the same spot as last year, as the two wild card leaders have identical records.

Based on the way TC said this stuff (with Cafardo going right along with him), I'm back to thinking these people are just stupid. I don't think MLB is telling them to say that their new creation is making everything so much better for so many teams--but I'm sure they won't stop them from saying it!

Anyway, the Red Sox got old friend and Connecticut native Craig Breslow back, in exchange for Albers and S-Pod. And we also got Steven Wright! For Lars Anderson.

And don't you hate how even though the Beckett trade rumors were proven to be false, it still "counts" as a "story"? Even the top story on about tonight's game is: "Head out to Fenway Park as Josh Beckett, who has been the subject of trade rumors, is slated to face the Tigers...." And shouldn't the person who started the rumor be fired? Oh wait, what paper/web site is gonna fire an employee who they told to plant a fake story? My bad.

The Most Misleading Stat Since One Second Ago

One of my least-favorite broadcasters in Boston sports (which is saying a lot), Dale Arnold, seems to have been given the NESN Daily job as opposed to being on an extended fill-in assignment. Last night, when showing the highlight of Crawford's triple, he said it was Carl's first triple since September 27th.

Obviously this makes the viewer think, "Wow, it's been a long time since Carl Crawford hit a triple." But I, being intelligent, immediately thought: Crawford has only played in a handful of games this season, and September 27th was right at the end of last season. And if you hit one triple in a handful of games, well, that's pretty much normal.

So I did the very quick and simple math to see just how normal. Since 9/27/11, Carl has played in 13 games. One last year (the 9/28 season finale), and 12 this year. Then I looked at the amount of triples he's hit over his career going into last night: 112. And then the number of games: 1376. Using what we call "division," I learned that Carl hits a triple once every 12.29 games.

In other words, after he hit the triple on September 27, based on a decade's worth of major league stats, you could expect him to hit his next triple 12-13 games later. Which is what he did.

So Dale (or the person who wrote the copy) saying that Crawford hasn't hit a triple since the EXACT FUCKING TIME you'd expect is like saying "That's the first dump I took since yesterday!"

[Bonus: If you want a more recent sampling, Crawford has tripled only about every 16 games since 2009. Meaning him tripling tonight was 3 games ahead of schedule, and that's coming off an injury, too. So no matter how you look at it, they really screwed up. Unless you just think it's crazy he hasn't tripled in 10 months without considering the fact that he's only played 13 games over that time. It seems like these kind of no-impact stats or stats that give you the wrong idea come up a lot on NESN. Hey, I should write a blog....]

Monday, July 30, 2012

3 In A Row

The woman who wears Fenway Park on her head as a hat had a great view from behind home plate as the Sox beat Detroit 7-3.

NESN showed who they were rooting for right away, giving the Tigers a run after the first pitch of the game on their score box. Austin Jackson made it 2-0 (really 1-0) by donging to lead off the game. Thanks to "tim" of the Joy of Sox thread for catching this as I was still in the car on the way back from TJs at that point. (Not Terrible Job's.) Fortunately I got home to see the Sox quickly retake the lead in the bottom of the first.

The Tigers tied it at 2 in the 3rd and it stayed that way until the 6th, when Pedroia sent a 2-run shot to the Earth's moon, Moon. Later in the inning, we almost reached on a strike out where the ball got away from the catcher, but Sweeney was barely out. To start the next inning, Detroit lived the dream we couldn't, reaching first on a K as Shoppach's throw hit the runner. That guy came around to score, and the Tigers had the tying run at second with one out. But Buchholz got out of it. That was the only iffy moment after the Pedroia dong.

Shoppach's triple(!) led to a 2-run lead again, and then Middlebrooks slammed a 2-run hump into the light tower in the 8th, and you could turn your sets off there, folks.

Buchholz went 8 giving up 2. Every Red Sox batter got a hit except for Sweeney, who got robbed by Infante. (And promptly pulled a "one of those a-holes who punches the wall and hurts his hand who you're glad isn't on your team"--we'll see what the X-rays say....)

Bonus: Switched to the Yanks on MLBN and saw one pitch--the last one! Martin was up with a chance to win it for NY, and Michael Kay was making big plans...only to have them rained upon. Yanks lose. They're starting to come back to the pack! How long until NESN says the "objects in mirror" line? Oh right, they only use that when we're leading.

Oh and more lies straight from MLB. They have to know. I'm convinced now. Employees have been ordered to say so many teams are alive because of the second wild card, even though all teams in BOTH leagues would be only a half-game further out of the playoffs under last year's system, as of right now.

And one last thing. Don and Jerry were talking about food, and right at that moment, a woman in the crowd holding two food containers gets a foul ball! She went for it with one hand and while cradling the containers (which fortunately had lids) and kind of brought it into her body using the food to help secure it. It was a nice food-related play--and Don and Jerry didn't even notice! So I'll give the woman her due here:

Andrew Miller Responds To Orel's Vomit


[...]that's what good teammates do. They're trying to keep it light and loose. It's out of my control from that point on. To me, that's kind of odd, something that (Hersheiser) would point out right there. To me, that's kind of the opposite of what you want. I appreciate guys being there for me.

--Andrew Miller, my new...yes...I'm gonna say new favorite Red Sock! (I always kinda liked his Leskanicky ways anyway....)

(And yes, Projo spelled Hershiser wrong but that dick deserves it.)

(Here's my original rant about Orel's nonsense in case you missed it or are reading 50 years from now. Or two weeks from now, which is the new "50 years" in today's 24-hr news cycle society.)

The Boss Is Turning Over In His Grave

In May I posted this video of Ichiro making a behind-the-back catch of a fly ball in batting practice at Fenway Park.

Funny how now people are watching it, because ESPN showed him doing the same thing last night. Thanks to that, people are searching "Ichiro Behind The Back Catch" on YouTube and finding my video. So I guess that worked out.

Note to Ichiro: You're no Bill Lee.

(courtesy the Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey movie)

Report Orel

The ESPN announcers played the role of Boston media tonight. You'd think the Red Sox were a Little League team who won a contest and were made to play the 1927 Yankees. It was as if the Red Sox had never won a game before and the Yanks had never lost. Every positive thing for the Red Sox was treated with extreme surprise. Despite having more World Series championships than the Yanks in the last 12 years and having won a game where we lost a lead in the 8th inning the day before, ESPN acted like the Red Sox had no chance in the same situation. Even when we were winning early, it was "Kuroda shouldn't have given up any runs" and "Doubront is lucky he's found his stuff at the right times." But then when the Yanks hit a home run to the short porch followed by a nubber single and a Jeter tilt-the-machine hit in the 7th, nobody said "this inning should've been a 1-2-3, instead there's a run in, two on, and no outs."

But the worst came shortly after that. Orel Hershiser is such a complete turd. After Miller came in and ended that 7th-inning threat by getting Granderson and Teixeira with the go-ahead runs on base, he got the first two outs of the 8th before giving up a double and being pulled for Aceves for a 4-out save. There was a shot of Miller laughing in the dugout. Hershiser was not amused. AFTER Aceves gave up the tying run, he went off on the Red Sox' lack of chemistry and urgency. "I hope it was a really funny story," he said facetiously, "but it just didn't look like good chemistry." (Ironic when someone sees a group of people laughing together and sees it as bad chemistry, eh?) He then surmised that Aceves giving up the tying hit to the next batter was a product of said bad chemistry. Then: "They don't...It doesn't feel like a team that..." Other announcer buts in: "Urgency." Orel: "Yeahhh."

Well now I was pissed. And of course the first thing I thought of was the Jeterian Double Standard. I said--on the Joy of Sox thread, you can look it up--"Please now show a shot of Jeter laughing in the dugout and then tell us how he totally gets it and keeps the dugout loose. Please."

Well, guess what? In the top of the ninth, game still tied, with the Yanks having put the potential winning run on first, Jeter has a slightly tough time on a pop-up that he ends up catching, and we see...THIS!
Where's the chemistry?! Where's the urgency?! Come on, Orel, here's your chance! Time to tell us how the Yanks had "relaxed" and were "cuttin' up" like you just said about the Red Sox! Right? Dead silence. Hey, it's just our god who created us in His image loving the game oh so much. That's a ballplayer. That's what you wanna show your kids, and say, Kids, if you ever want to suck a man's penis, go for the one attached to that man right there. Whatever he does is right, no matter what.

Too bad we didn't win it right after that, but man was I glad for so many reasons when we finally won that game in the 10th. [Update: Miller responds to Orel's criticism!]

Bonus "giving Jeter Orel" from earlier: Did you see the play where god went to his left to dive for a liner, and it hit the heel of his glove, costing him a potential double play, and then he couldn't pick it up in time to even get the out at first? According to Hershiser, it was "a tough enough play without the runner being in his way." Yeah, yeah.

Just a terrible job by ESPN, constantly doing the patented Boston Media "if the Red Sox lose this game" thing, in a game in which we never trailed. And I hope Eckersley feels like an ass right about now after his "you don't wanna get swept by the Yankees" remark--we won 2 of 3! How can a professional mention the possibility of a team getting a swept before a series starts? You look like a damn stooge when that team goes and wins the series.

All that shitty shit aside, I'm super-psyched we just beat the Yanks 2 of 3 on the road--the same "ghosts" who were apparently rooting against the Yankees in 2004 came over and helped us out again this weekend! Yay, fake things! (Yes, ESPN actually brought that up tonight. So many people just need to be put down. Clear the dinosaurs out. "The Yankees had great players 100 years ago and so since the team plays in the same building, those guys, though dead, hang around in the air, invisible, and put fright into the opposing teams, except when they forget to. And then when the building is torn down, it doesn't matter because magic makes the Yankees win because we say so." Go fucking get a different job and leave the sane people alone. They even did an extended intro about "mystique" before the game tonight. Pssst..."it's not because of the short porch," they say. Thanks! That makes so much fucking sense. That totally means something. The fake stuff exists, but not because of a fence that was built three years ago. Oh, WELL I GUESS I WAS MISTAKEN! I was sure it was the fence. That made the Yankees be fucking mystical and win all the time except when they don't. Who the fuck can watch this and dare to say that somehow the Red Sox and Yankees "are the same." Fuck the fucking Internet. And another thing. How can these fucking assholes everywhere keep saying the rivalry doesn't have any feeling any more? Every damn time we play each other? Am I crazy? Do you not have a completely different feeling when we play the Yankees? Do you not want to punch these pieces of shit in their fucking faces? Are you not begging somebody to drill Teixeira in the back and Cano in the smirky grill every single time they're up? I guarantee you if we were playing Kansas City tonight I never once would have imagined punching any of the nameless Royals in the face. Not once. Of course the best thing would be to come all the way back and win this division. Or at least watch the Yanks burn in the post-season. They hit a lot of home runs and people seem to think that's all that matters. But in the playoffs when you're facing the best pitchers and you have nobody on base in front of your home runs because you're not actually a good hitting lineup, it'll be a different story. But eff that, let's get Papi back, get our ace pitchers back on track and keep rolling. We're home vs. Detroit Monday night. Oh wait, I'm still in parentheses! Here: )

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